Staunton, March 8 – The Kremlin’s continuing attacks on KPRF presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin shows that he is taking votes away from Vladimir Putin despite the fact that “for the left, Grudinin is an oligarch, for liberals, a Stalinist, and for nationalists, “’a Jew,’” Igor Eidman says.
This does not mean, the Russian commentator for Deutsche Welle says, that Grudinin “is strong; it means that Putin is weak. People are so sick of Putin that any new man not having a high negative rating (like Sobchak) can compete with him,” as even the Kremlin’s own VTsIOM pollsters have acknowledged (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5AA01486C9D18).
“Putin is not competitive in any real elections,” Eidman says, so even Grudinin is a threat, despite the fact that he has a lot of baggage and has an uncertain program, albeit one that is generally left of center.
According to Eidman, “a successful opponent of Putin must be sufficiently left of center (with us, leftist ideas are very popular), new (people are fed up with all the veterans of political television), and not have a high anti-rating (that is, not be associated with the Moscow beau monde which is hated by the country.”
Such a candidate would have a simple program: “peace, a social democratic state on the Scandinavian model, lustration of the bureaucracy, oligarchy, and security police, the freeing of all spheres of life from bureaucratic diktat, and maximum freedom everywhere – in economics, political life and the Internet.”
He or she, Eidman continues, “would be supported by young people who want freedom, homemakers afraid for their sons who may be drafted, workers who hate the oligarchs and security police, and even pensioners who dream about social security.”
Unfortunately, there are no elections in Russia yet, the Russian commentator says, “but there will be sometime” and when they occur, the Putins of the world won’t win them.